The giant container ship that has blocked traffic in the Suez Canal for the last week, bringing a key global trade route to a standstill and capturing the world’s attention, was partially refloated early Monday.

Iran Press/Africa: It was unclear when the vessel would be fully set free, but the progress raised hopes the crucial waterway could soon be reopened after days of intense salvage efforts.

The Ever Given "has been successfully refloated. This was the result of successful push and tow maneuvers," Lt. Gen. Osama Rabie, chairman of the Suez Canal Authority, said in a statement.

Both the canal authority and Inchcape, a maritime logistics company that manages shipping in the canal, said that the skyscraper-sized vessel's position had now been straightened by 80 percent.

The ship's stern had been shifted toward the middle of the waterway and was now more than 300 feet from the shore, the canal authority said.

The 1,400-foot long cargo ship jammed diagonally across a southern section of the Suez Canal last Tuesday, leaving a total of 367 ships, including dozens of container ships and bulk carriers, unable to use the key trading route as of Monday morning.

Dredgers worked over the weekend to dislodge the stranded vessel, shifting some 27,000 metric tons of sand to a depth of 60 feet, the canal authority said Sunday.

A total of 14 tugboats were conducting pulling maneuvers from three directions to dislodge the ship, it added.

The maneuvers were due to resume again when the tide brings the water level back up.

Maritime traffic will restart once the ship is directed toward the Great Bitter Lake, a wide stretch of water halfway between the north and south end of the canal where it will undergo technical examination, the authority said.


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